|Publication number||US5619748 A|
|Application number||US 08/617,426|
|Publication date||Apr 15, 1997|
|Filing date||Mar 18, 1996|
|Priority date||Apr 7, 1993|
|Publication number||08617426, 617426, US 5619748 A, US 5619748A, US-A-5619748, US5619748 A, US5619748A|
|Inventors||Jeff S. Nelson, Allen L. Price|
|Original Assignee||Safariland Ltd., Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (17), Referenced by (62), Classifications (4), Legal Events (10)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This is continuation of application Ser. No. 08/321,994, filed Oct. 12, 1994 now abandoned which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 08/109,082, filed Aug. 19, 1993 now abandoned which is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 08/044,285, filed Apr. 7, 1993 now abandoned.
This invention relates to protective vests, and more particularly, to body armor commonly known as a ballistic vest.
Ballistic vests have saved the lives of many law enforcement officers in recent years. As a result, law enforcement agencies have made it mandatory for their officers to wear a ballistic vest while on duty.
Ballistic vests have been available in recent years as a protective panel having overlying layers of a fabric made from woven high tensile strength plastic fibers. Woven fabrics made from an aramid fiber known as KELVAR, for example, have been used successfully in ballistic vests because of the high energy absorption properties of the fabric material. The material is also reasonably light in weight and flexible, which provides improved comfort when compared with previous vests which were made of metal and were therefore heavier and more rigid. The comfort of a ballistic vest is extremely important, especially to law enforcement officers, because of the heat build-up that occurs from wearing a heavy and inflexible vest for the long hours an officer is on duty. Resistance to projectile penetration is a principal factor in designing a ballistic vest; and added protective layers can offer greater protection against projectiles having the higher threat levels, but added protective layers also add undesired weight and inflexibility of the vest.
In addition to woven KEVLAR fabric layers, ballistic vests have been made from other high strength plastic fibers and composites to reduce weight and improve flexibility of the vest. However, ballistic vests using the lighter, more flexible materials also must offer the required minimum levels of protection against penetration by different types of projectiles.
Ballistic vests are regularly certified by subjecting them to ballistics testing to measure their ability to protect against different projectiles fired from different types of weapons at various angles. One ballistic test commonly used in the industry is the National Institution of Justice (NIJ) Standard 0101.03 Threat Level IIIA, which, in general terms, is a high performance standard requiring that the ballistic vest prevent penetration of specified .44 Magnum and 9 mm rounds fired at a velocity of at least 1400 ft/sec. In addition to preventing such projectile penetration, "backface deformation" also is a required test factor in the NIJ Standard 0101.03 Threat Level IIIA certification test. Backface deformation measures the trauma level experienced by a projectile that does not penetrate the test panel. According to this test, the maximum allowable backface signature (bfs) containment for soft body armor requires a maximum allowable bfs of 44 mm for .44 Magnum and 9 mm rounds.
There is a need to provide a ballistic vest that is reasonably light in weight, is highly flexible and comfortable, and is also capable of meeting the high performance projectile specifications of NIJ Threat Level IIIA. Providing such a vest at a reasonably low cost for the comparable high performance level also is a desirable objective.
There are other instances where lighter weight vests are more desirable even though they may not meet the Threat Level IIIA standards. Here the challenge is to produce a lightweight vest capable of meeting the certification standards of NIJ Threat Levels II and IIA. An extremely lightweight vest with an areal weight less than one pound per square foot that meets Level II and IIA standards is desirable.
The present invention provides a ballistic vest of the soft body armor type comprising a plurality of overlying first flexible layers arranged in a stack on a strike side of the vest, and a plurality of overlying second flexible layers arranged in a stack on a body side of the vest. Each first flexible layer comprises a thin, flexible, woven fabric layer made of high tensile strength polymeric fibers. The individual woven fabric layers are secured to each other as a unit to form a soft, flexible woven fabric front panel for the vest. Each second flexible layer comprises a thin, flexible imperforate fiber-reinforced plastic sheet comprising an array of plastic fibers embedded in a thermoplastic resinous matrix that forms each film sheet. The second layers overlie each other substantially without attachment to one another and as a combination are referred to as a rear panel of the vest. The stacks of first and second flexible layers are provided in a combination having anThese and areal weight not greater than about 1.20 lbs/ft2, and more preferably about 1.16 lbs/ft2, with an NIJ Standard maximum backface of not more than about 44 mm, and a ballistic resistance that prevents projectile penetration of the combined stacks of first and second flexible layers according to NIJ Standard 0101.03 Threat Level IIIA test specifications.
In a preferred form of the invention, the fibers contained in the first and second layers comprise extended chain polyethylene fibers having a fiber tenacity of at least about 30 gm/denier, more preferably 35 gm/denier. The modulus of the fibers contained in the first layer is about 1000 gm/denier, more preferably 1200 gm/denier. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the stacks of first and second layers can be reduced to a combination of about 20 of the first layers and about 23 of the second layers, while meeting the NIJ level IIIA standards. In one embodiment, this high performance is achieved with the first and second flexible layers having a combined areal weight not greater than about 1.16 lbs/ft2.
The result of the invention is a ballistic vest that is reasonably light in weight, highly flexible and comfortable, while providing high performance Threat Level IIIA resistance to ballistic penetration and backface deformation. This combination of properties is in addition to the reasonably low cost of the vest for the high performance level achieved.
In other embodiments of the invention, extremely lightweight ballistic vests are produced that meet NIJ Standard Threat Level II and IIA test specifications, while having an areal weight of less than about one pound per square root.
These and other aspects of the invention will be more fully understood by referring to the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings.
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view, partly broken away, showing a ballistic resistant composite panel used in a ballistic vest according to principles of this invention.
FIG. 2 is fragmentary perspective view, partly broken away, showing internal components of the ballistic resistant panel.
FIG. 3 is a schematic cross sectional, view showing individual layers of a flexible woven fabric front panel and a stack of thin, flexible fiber-reinforced plastic resin sheets forming a rear panel of the ballistic vest.
FIG. 1 illustrates a composite front ballistic panel 10 for a ballistic vest of the soft body armor type commonly worn by law enforcement officers. The composite front ballistic panel 10 provides a protective front section of the vest that overlies the chest region of the user. A separate rear protective region of the vest (not shown) overlies the back of the user. The composite front panel only is depicted in the drawings since the protective back section of the vest has a composite construction substantially identical to the front section. Therefore, the description of the composite front panel to follow will suffice for the rear panel used in the ballistic vest.
The front and rear composite protective panels are preferably carried in a vest structure which is well known in the art. The vest includes front and rear carriers for the front and rear ballistic panels, with shoulder straps and waist straps for securing the vest to the upper torso of the user. A ballistic vest with front and rear carriers that can be used for carrying the front and rear ballistic panels of this invention is described, e.g., in U.S. Pat. No. 4,697,285, which is assigned to the assignee of this application and incorporated herein by this reference.
Referring again to FIG. 1, the composite front ballistic panel 10 is generally configured to include a main body portion 12 that covers the chest region of the user, a recessed upper scoop neck region 14 for fitting under the neck, right and left upwardly projecting shoulder regions 16 and 18 for covering the right and left shoulders, recessed right and left arm regions 20 and 22 for fitting under the right and left arms of the user, and right and left side regions 24 and 26 for extending along the sides of the user when the panel is placed in a front carrier of the vest and worn over the chest.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the composite front ballistic panel 10 includes an outer casing 28 made of front and rear sheets of an imperforate flexible waterproof fabric, such as ripstop nylon. The front sheet of the casing is shown at 28 in FIG. 1 and the rear sheet is shown at 30 in FIG. 2. The flexible front and rear sheets of the casing are secured together around the perimeter of the front panel 10 by stitching, such as the stitching shown at 32 in FIG. 1, which forms a bottom hem for the casing.
The front ballistic panel 10 further includes a plurality of overlying first flexible layers 34 arranged in a stack on a strike (front) side of the front panel 10. Each first flexible layer comprises thin plastic fibers forming a thin, flexible woven fabric layer. The individual woven fabric layers are secured to each other by quilt stitching 36 to form a soft, flexible, woven fabric front panel section 38 of unitary structure.
The composite front ballistic panel 10 also includes a plurality of overlying second flexible layers 40 arranged in a stack on a body (rear) side of the front panel 10. Each second flexible layer comprises a thin, flexible imperforate plastic sheet comprising high tensile strength plastic fibers embedded in a resinous matrix to form each thin, flexible plastic sheet. The first and second layers 34 and 40 are all cut to the same size and shape and overlie one another in layers parallel to one another. FIG. 2 shows a cut-away view of the front face 28 of the outer casing to reveal the stacks of first and second layers of the composite front ballistic panel 10. The second layers 40 are stacked behind the front panel section 38 so they are free-floating, i.e., they are freely movable relative to one another within the casing without being laminated to each other or otherwise bonded to one another in a face-to-face relation. Thus, the individual second layers 40 are free floating within an area encompassing most of the surface area occupied by the layers that comprise the front ballistic panel 10. In the present invention, although the second layers are individually free floating and movable relative to each other, they are stacked together to form in the aggregate what is referred to herein as a rear panel section 42 of the composite front ballistic panel 10.
The first flexible layers 34 of the front ballistic panel 10 will now be described. Each first layer 34 preferably comprises a flexible fabric made of woven high strength polymeric fibers with exhibit useful ballistic resistance in the woven form of the fabric. The preferred fabric is a plain woven fabric made of uncoated extended chain polyethylene fibers. The term "fiber" is defined herein as an elongated monofilament body of essentially uniform diameter with its long dimension substantially greater than the width or thickness of the fiber. In one embodiment of the invention, the extended chain polyethylene fibers are the high strength ballistic resistant fibers made of ultra high molecular weight highly oriented polyethylene fibers as described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,681,792, assigned to Allied Signal and incorporated herein by this reference. The individual extended chain polyethylene fibers are preferably 375 denier fibers. The fibers contained in the fabric have a fiber tenacity of at least about 30 grams/denier nominal, and more preferably about 35 grams/denier nominal. The tensile modulus of the fibers, as measured on an Instron tensile machine, is at least about 1,000 grams/denier, and more preferably about 1,200 grams/denier. The breaking strength of the fibers is at least about 25 pounds and more preferably about 29 pounds nominal. The dry thickness of the woven fabric layer is about 9 mils. The total fiber areal density of the fabric does not exceed about 3.4 oz/yd2 and more preferably about 3.2 oz/yd2. The fabric is constructed in a plain weave with 32 ends per inch in the ward direction and 32 ends per inch in the fill direction. The yarn is air entangled. The preferred woven fabric is available under the designation SPECTRA 1000 from Allied Signal. The woven fabric layers are quilt stitched, preferably on approximately one inch centers, to form the unitary flexible front panel section 38.
Although the first layer is made from a woven fabric comprised of the extended chain polyethylene fibers described above, the results of the invention also can be achieved with other similar high strength ballistic-resistant polymeric fibers such as aramid fiber, especially KEVLAR fiber; nylon fiber; polyolefin fiber such as polypropylene; and polyvinyl alcohol fiber, as described for example in U.S. Pat. No. 4,681,792, incorporated herein by reference.
The second flexible layers 40 that comprise the rear panel section 42 of the front ballistic panel 10 preferably are made of thin, flexible fiber-reinforced plastic film sheets. The film sheets are reinforced with an array of high tensile strength ballistic-resistant fibers embedded in a thermoplastic resinous matrix film. The preferred reinforcing fibers in the second layer are the extended chain ultra high molecular weight polyethylene fibers described above. These fibers are preferably arranged in a pattern in which the long fibers extend in a generally common plane at right angles to each other reasonably uniformly across the length and width of the film sheet. The preferred fiber-reinforced thermoplastic sheet is available under the designation SPECTRA SHIELD manufactured by Allied Signal, using a proprietary unidirectional fiber/resin process in which the fibers comprise the SPECTRA 1000 fibers described previously. The preferred SPECTRA SHIELD material has an areal density of 0.970 grams per cm2 ; the resinous matrix is made from a proprietary thermoplastic elastomer having an elongation of about 4% maximum and the areal density of the material is about 4.5 oz/yd2.
In one embodiment of the invention, the front panel section 38 consists of approximately 20 layers of the woven SPECTRA 1000 fabric, and the rear panel section 42 consists of approximately 23 layers of the Spectra Shield plastic sheets. The SPECTRA 1000 fabric layers are attached to the SPECTRA SHIELD layers by a single one inch long vertical stitch at the lowest point on the scoop neck region 14 of the composite ballistic panel. The stitching penetrates and joins all 43 layers of the panel. There are no other stitches through the layers of the SPECTRA SHIELD material.
The areal weight of the complete ballistic sandwich does not exceed about 1.20 pounds per square foot, more preferably about 1.16 pounds per square foot. An objective in designing body armor for use by law enforcement officers is to equip the officer with body armor that will be worn consistently day after day with a reasonably good comfort level produced by the light weight and flexibility of the composite vest material. There is a direct correlation between areal weight (weight of a 12"×12" section of the ballistic sandwich) of a vest and its comfort level. In the present invention, one objective was to (1) produce a ballistic sandwich having an areal weight not more than about 1.20 pounds per square foot and, more preferably, not more than about 1.16 pounds per square foot, while (2) achieving resistance to projectile penetration that meets NIJ Standard 0101.03 Certification Testing for Threat Level IIIA for .44 Magnum 240 Grain SWC Gas Check and 9 mm 124 Grain FMJ projectiles fired at a velocity of at least 1400 feet per second (fps), and while (3) achieving backface deformation test standards under NIJ Standard 103.03 Level IIIA having a maximum allowable bfs of 44 mm for .44 Magnum and 9 mm rounds.
An initial objective was to produce a ballistic vest having possible Level IIIA performance at an areal weight of 1.06 psf. The starting point was a 375 denier fabric made of extended chain polyethylene fibers in which the fabric had a plain 32×32 weave pattern and a fabric weight of 3.5 oz/yd2. A composite ballistic panel was made from overlying layers of the SPECTRA SHIELD film sheets on the strike face and the woven 375 denier fabric on the body side. The fabric layers were quilt stitched, and the composite ballistic panel comprised 22 layers of the SPECTRA SHIELD sheeting and 17 layers of the 375 denier woven fabric; the areal weight was 1.06 psf. A comparison of this panel structure was made with both 1.0-inch and a 1.5-inch quilt stitching patterns in the fabric layers. Regression curve analysis and V-50 tests were performed, yielding poor results. The testing was discontinued on the 1.0-inch quilted fabric embodiment because penetrations were experienced with the .44 Magnum in the NIJ velocity for Level IIIA performance at 1400+50 fps. Penetrations were experienced with both the .44 Magnum and 9 mm rounds on the 1.5-inch quilt stitched fabric layer embodiment.
In order to improve performance, the number of layers (and therefore the areal weight) of the composite panel structure were increased to 21 layers of SPECTRA SHIELD on the strike side and 20 layers of the fabric of Example 1 on the rear side of the composite front panel. The total areal weight was 1.10 psf. Regression curve analysis and V-50 testing were conducted, comparing the 1.0-inch quilt pattern to the 1.5-inch quilt pattern used in the fabric portion of the composite panel. In the regression curve portion of the testing the 1.0-inch quilt pattern performed well, but the 1.5-inch quilt pattern had two penetrations with .44 Magnum rounds in the NIJ IIIA velocity ranges 1424 and 1407. The V-50 portions of the test also indicated better performance with the 1.0 inch quilt pattern as follows:
______________________________________V-50 Results Condi- V-50 High LowProj. Sample tioning (ft/sec) Partial1 Complete2______________________________________.44 Mag 1" D Dry 1579 1592 1576.44 Mag 1" E Wet 1521 1532 15029 mm 1" F Wet 1718 1743 16629 mm 1" G Dry 1629 1674 1610.44 Mag 1.5" D Wet 1540 1556 1516.44 Mag 1.5" E Dry 1559 1552 15529 mm 1.5" F Wet 1654 1676 16189 mm 1.5" G Dry 1693 1710 1668______________________________________ 1 Partial penetration, fastest bullet that did not penetrate. 2 Lowest velocity at penetration.
Although penetration tests were reasonably successful, backface deformation problems were experienced. A .44 Magnum round produced a bfs of 45 mm and 56 mm. (The NIJ Standard allows for a maximum backface of 44 mm.) As a result, experiments were conducted with different stitch patterns in the quilted fabric rear panel of the ballistic panel structure. In all tests of various stitch patterns, the same result occurred: high backface exceeding NIJ specifications. It was determined that there was a one in six chance that a .44 Magnum round would penetrate all of the Spectra Shield layers and stop in the fabric. When this happened the backface deformation was too high. It was also determined that the high backface deformation occurred 75% of the time on the first impact.
Two layers of the SPECTRA SHIELD material were added to the test panel of Example 2 and all stitching was eliminated, except for the quilt stitch in the fabric layers that formed the rear section of the composite ballistic test panel. With the addition of the two layers of SPECTRA SHIELD material, the areal weight increased to 1.16 psf. The resulting test panel was submitted for certification testing for NIJ level IIIA in which the 1.0-inch quilt pattern stitching was used in the rear fabric layers. The resulting panel failed because the .44 Magnum penetrated the spectra shield stopping in the fabric causing high backface and failure, and maximum backface deformation was unacceptably high. Test results were as follows:
______________________________________Regression Curve Backface PenetrationProj. Velocity Avg. Max. # %______________________________________.44 Mag 1400 + 50 38 47 0 0.44 Mag 1450 + 50 45 61 2 12.5.44 Mag 1500 + 50 59.5 70 3 19.59 mm 1400 + 50 40.4 44 0 09 mm 1450 + 50 40 50 0 09 mm 1500 + 50 39 44 2 12.5______________________________________Abbreviated NIJ & Certification Velocity Backface PenetrationProj. Max. Min. Avg. Max. # %______________________________________.44 Mag 1470 1403 48.3 58 0 09 mm 1461 1406 30 31 0 0______________________________________V-50Proj. V-50 High Partial Low Complete______________________________________.44 Mag 1526 1552 1520.44 Mag 1538 1548 1516.44 Mag 1606 1624 1610 Avg. 1557 Max. 1624 Min. 15169 mm 1748 1806 1722______________________________________
The test results showed penetrations at 1500+50 ft/sec, but these velocities exceed maximum acceptable test level velocities of 1400 to 1450 ft/sec.
The positions of the SPECTRA SHIELD layers and the quilted fabric layers were reversed in the next test panel. A test panel was subjected to NIJ level IIIA testing with 20 layers of the one-inch quilted Spectra 1000 fabric on the strike side of the panel and 23 layers of the SPECTRA SHIELD material on the rear side of the panel. The results improved, with the backface being reduced from 56 mm and 58 mm to 42 mm and 44 mm, respectively.
It was then decided to conduct regression curve testing on the same test panel. A 1.0-inch dart stitch was added to the lowest portion of the neck region to connect all layers to prevent separation during constant wear by an officer. Regression curves and V-50 testing were conducted on this panel, as well as an otherwise identical panel having no quilt stitching. A penetration with 9 mm at 1448 ft/sec occurred in the panel with no quilting. The test panel having the 1.0-inch quilt pattern resulted in a highly successful increase in penetration performance. Ballistic penetration tests showed an increase in V-50 performance of about 6% for the .44 Magnum rounds. In addition, backface performance improved remarkably. Another phenomenon was noticed. The more this panel was impacted, the lower the resulting backface measurement. The panel was then broken in by a rolling method and reshot for regression curve analysis. Backface improved another 10%. The same test panel was then subjected to abbreviated NIJ level IIIA testing and all performance tests were passed. The results were as follows:
______________________________________Regression Curve Backface PenetrationProj. Velocity Avg. Max. # %______________________________________.44 Mag 1400 + 50 30.6 36 0 0.44 Mag 1450 + 50 37 46 0 0.44 Mag 1500 + 50 40.5 54 1 6.259 mm 1400 + 50 27.4 29 0 09 mm 1450 + 50 26.4 31 0 09 mm 1500 + 50 29 34 0 0______________________________________Abbreviated NIJ & Certification Velocity Backface PenetrationProj. Max. Min. Avg. Max. # %______________________________________.44 Mag 1461 1401 37.3 42 0 09 mm 1462 1418 28.5 33 0 0______________________________________V-50Proj. V-50 High Partial Low Complete______________________________________.44 Mag 1637 1648 1634.44 Mag 1657 1673 1620.44 Mag 1658 1670 1653.44 Mag 1628 1646 1618.44 Mag 1651 1715 1598 Avg. 1646 Max. 1715 Min. 15989 mm 1677 1738 16679 mm 1653 1664 16209 mm 1674 1714 16259 mm 1776 1828 1744 Avg. 1695 Max. 1828 Min. 1620______________________________________
In another embodiment of the invention, an extremely lightweight ballistic vest was produced which met certification standards for NIJ Threat Level II and IIA with an areal weight of the entire ballistic sandwich less than about one pound per square foot. In one embodiment a ballistic vest meeting Threat Level IIA specifications had an areal weight of less than 0.9 pounds per square foot.
The extremely lightweight vests were made from the same materials as the front and rear ballistic panel sections 38 and 42 described previously. Thus, the ballistic vest comprised a flexible front panel section on the strike side comprised of a plurality of the overlying first flexible layers 34 arranged in a stack and secured to each other by quilt stitching to form a soft, flexible, woven front panel section 38 of unitary structure. The front panel section included the one-inch quilt pattern of individual layers comprised of the 35 gm/denier fiber and the 32×32 weave pattern The panel also included the overlying second flexible layers 40 arranged in a stack on the body side of the ballistic vest where each second flexible layer comprised a thin, flexible, imperforate plastic sheet comprised of the high tensile strength plastic fibers embedded in a resinous matrix to form the thin flexible plastic sheet described previously. The second layers 40 were stacked behind the front panel section 38 so they are free-floating and are freely movable relative to one another within the vest without being laminated to each other or otherwise bonded to one another in a face-to-face relation, thus forming the rear panel section 42 of the vest. The examples to follow describe the progression of development of the extremely lightweight ballistic vests that meet Threat Level II and IIA specifications.
An objective was to develop an extremely lightweight ballistic vest that meets NIJ Threat Level II test standards while having an areal weight of less than one pound per square foot (psf). Resistance to projectile penetration that meets NIJ Standard 0101.03 Certification Testing for Threat Level II involves use of a 9 mm 124 gram FMJ projectile fired at a velocity of at least 1,175 fps and a .357 Magnum 158 gram JSP projectile at 1,395 fps. Backface deformation test standards under NIJ Standard Threat Level II have a maximum allowable bfs of 44 mm for the .357 Magnum and 9 mm rounds. A test panel was constructed with 17 plies of the SPECTRA 1000 fabric on the strike side of the panel and 20 plies of the SPECTRA SHIELD material on the rear side of the panel. The 17 layers of SPECTRA fabric included the one-inch quilt pattern and the 32×32 weave pattern similar to the fabric layers described in previous examples. V-50 and abbreviated NIJ testing on the resulting vest indicated that it may function well as a good Level II vest, but the vest combination had an areal weight of 1.002 psf. The results of the test were as follows:
______________________________________17 Fabric/20 Sheet______________________________________Regression Curve Velocity Backface PenetrationProj. Max. Min. Avg. Max. # %______________________________________.357 Mag 1439 1411 38.2 35 0 0.357 Mag 1474 1454 29.25 33 2 12.5.357 Mag 1542 1504 48.8 55 8 509 mm 1262 1221 25.1 27 0 09 mm 1305 1282 26.8 30 0 0______________________________________V-50Proj. V-50 High Partial Low Complete______________________________________9 mm 1525 1536 1513.357 Mag 1544 1586 1526______________________________________
A test panel was constructed of 20 layers of the one-inch quilted SPECTRA 1000 fabric on the strike side and 17 layers of the SPECTRA SHIELD material on the rear side of the panel. The resulting combination had an areal weight of 0.975 psf. Regression curve analysis and V-50 testing were performed, but the results shown below were less than the required minimum level of performance for Threat Level II:
______________________________________20 Fabric/17 Sheet______________________________________Abbreviated NIJ Velocity BackfaceProj. Max. Min. Avg. Max. Penetration______________________________________.357 Mag 1434 1408 36 09 mm 1242 1184 31 0______________________________________V-50Proj. V-50 High Partial Low Complete______________________________________9 mm 1620 1729 1594.357 Mag 1588 1670 1568______________________________________
Two different sandwich configurations were tested. A first test panel comprised 22 plies of the one-inch quilted SPECTRA 1000 fabric and 16 plies of the Spectra SHIELD, in which the total combination at an areal weight of 0.988 psf. A second test panel comprised a sandwich of 16 plies of the fabric and 20 plies of the SPECTRA SHIELD, with an areal weight of 0.98 psf. As shown in the following test results, the first panel outperformed the second panel:
______________________________________V-50 ComparisonsProj. V-50 High Partial Low Complete______________________________________22 Fabric/16 Sheet.357 Mag 1604 1619 15649 mm 1525 1532 150820 Fabric/17 Sheet.357 Mag 1481 1474 14909 mm 1507 1510 1486______________________________________
Regression curve analysis and V-50 testing were performed on the panel having the better performance in Example 7. The results shown below indicated that this combination may produce a viable Level II ballistic vest.
______________________________________22 Fabric/16 Sheet______________________________________Regression Curve Velocity Backface PenetrationProj. Max. Min. Avg. Max. # %______________________________________.357 Mag 1436 1409 28.9 34 0 0.357 Mag 1520 1406 29.1 35 0 0.357 Mag 1552 1512 44.1 51 2 12.59 mm 1237 1180 28.1 32 0 09 mm 1346 1308 30.4 32 0 09 mm 1406 1373 33.9 38 0 0______________________________________V-50Proj. V-50 High Partial Low Complete______________________________________.357 Mag 1581 1620 15249 mm 1503 1512 1488______________________________________
Abbreviated NIJ and V-50 testing was performed on the vest of Example 8 and the results are shown below. Based on these results the panel was submitted for certification testing.
______________________________________Abbreviated NIJ Velocity BackfaceProj. Max. Min. Avg. Max. Penetration______________________________________.357 Mag 1457 1410 37 35 09 mm 1252 1193 30 27 0______________________________________V-50Proj. V-50 High Partial Low Complete______________________________________.357 Mag 1557 1557 15349 mm 1605 1604 1599______________________________________
Certification and V-50 testing were performed on the vest of Examples 8 and 9. The results shown below indicate a successful certification and the first known Level II vest that meets these certification standards with an areal weight (0.98 psf) of less than one psf.
______________________________________Certification Velocity Backface PenetrationProj. Max. Min. Avg. Max. # %______________________________________.357 Mag 1450 1405 36 30 0 09 mm 1231 1194 30 28 0 0______________________________________V-50Proj. V-50 High Partial Low Complete______________________________________.357 Mag 1673 1666 16059 mm 1621 1705 1631______________________________________
Following the successful certification test in Example 10 a further objective became that of producing a ballistic vest that meets NIJ Threat Level IIA standards while having an areal weight of less than 0.9 psf. Resistance to projectile penetration that meets NIJ Standard Certification Testing for Threat Level IIA involves a 9 mm 124 gram FMJ projectile fired at a velocity of 1,090 fps and a .357 Magnum 158 JSP projectile at 1,250 fps. Maximum allowable bfs is 44 mm for the .357 Magnum and 9 mm rounds. A test panel was produced using 22 plies of the same fabric and 10 plies of the same SPECTRA SHIELD material used in the previous examples. Thus, the 22 layers of fabric were quilted on one-inch centers and were on the strike side of the panel. The test panel had a total areal weight of 0.80 psf. The following regression curve and subsequent V-50 test data were inconclusive.
______________________________________22 Fabric/10 Sheet______________________________________Proj. V-50 High Partial Low Complete______________________________________.357 Mag 1444 1458 14239 mm 1418 1430 1406______________________________________Regression Curve Velocity Backface PenetrationProj. Max. Min. Avg. Max. # %______________________________________.357 Mag 1294 1258 30.4 36 0 0.357 Mag 1346 1322 31 38 0 0.357 Mag 1386 1362 33.75 42 4 259 mm 1194 1153 25 30 0 09 mm 1258 1227 28 33 1 6.259 mm 1300 1254 29 33 2 12.5______________________________________V-50Proj. V-50 High Partial Low Complete______________________________________9 mm 1282 1350 1218.357 Mag 1441 1448 1428______________________________________
A comparative test was conducted between a first panel comprising 22 plies of the same quilted Spectra 1000 fabric and 10 plies of SPECTRA SHIELD and a second panel comprising 16 plies of the fabric and 15 plies of SPECTRA SHIELD. The test panels had an areal weight of 0.80 and 0.81 psf, respectively. The second test panel (the 16/15 configuration) had the better performance as shown below. However, even though performance was better, it was still not high enough to meet Threat Level IIA standards.
______________________________________V-50Proj. V-50 High Partial Low Complete______________________________________22 Fabric/10 Sheet9 mm 1293 1304 12589 mm 1339 1364 134616 Fabric/15 Sheet9 mm 1371 1415 1292.357 Mag 1451 1459 1448______________________________________
One additional layer of the SPECTRA SHIELD sheet material was added to the panel having the 16/15 configuration of Example 12. The resulting panel having the 16/16 configuration had an areal weight of 0.855 psf. This test panel was subjected to regression curve and V-50 testing and the results shown below indicated that this was a viable combination for subsequent NIJ Level IIA certification testing.
______________________________________16 Fabric/16 Sheet______________________________________Regression Curve Velocity Backface PenetrationProj. Max. Min. Avg. Max. # %______________________________________.357 Mag 1374 1265 29.3 37 0 0.357 Mag 1413 1316 33.3 37 0 0.357 Mag 1508 1458 34 40 10 609 mm 1222 1134 26 30 0 09 mm 1261 1205 30 33 1 6.259 mm 1372 1312 32 38 1 6.25______________________________________V-50Proj. V-50 High Partial Low Complete______________________________________9 mm 1441 1470 1410.357 Mag 1501 1540 1494______________________________________
Abbreviated NIJ Level IIA and V-50 testing on the 16/16 configuration of Example 13 was conducted. The following results were positive and based on these results the panel was submitted for certification testing.
______________________________________Abbreviated NIJ Velocity BackfaceProj. Max. Min. Avg. Max. Penetration______________________________________.357 Mag 1292 1273 37 33 09 mm 1160 0______________________________________V-50Proj. V-50 High Partial Low Complete______________________________________9 mm 1549 1596 1470.357 Mag 1565 1619 1484______________________________________
NIJ certification and V-50 testing were performed on the panel consisting of 16 plies of the fabric on the strike side and 16 plies of Spectra Shield on the body side, with an areal weight of 0.855 psf. The following results show that certification was successful in meeting Level IIA standards.
______________________________________Certification Velocity BackfaceProj. Max. Min. Avg. Max. Penetration______________________________________.357 Mag 1296 1270 38 31 09 mm 1151 1114 29 27 0______________________________________V-50Proj. V-50 High Partial Low Complete______________________________________9 mm 1501 1523 1466.357 Mag 1578 1619 1490______________________________________
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3582988 *||Apr 14, 1969||Jun 8, 1971||Richard A Armellino||Lightweight body armor|
|US3924038 *||Jun 12, 1974||Dec 2, 1975||Us Air Force||Fragment suppression configuration|
|US4403012 *||Mar 19, 1982||Sep 6, 1983||Allied Corporation||Ballistic-resistant article|
|US4457985 *||Feb 18, 1983||Jul 3, 1984||Allied Corporation||Ballistic-resistant article|
|US4501856 *||Mar 19, 1982||Feb 26, 1985||Allied Corporation||Composite containing polyolefin fiber and polyolefin polymer matrix|
|US4623574 *||Jan 14, 1985||Nov 18, 1986||Allied Corporation||Ballistic-resistant composite article|
|US4650710 *||Dec 9, 1985||Mar 17, 1987||Allied Corporation||Ballistic-resistant fabric article|
|US4681792 *||Dec 9, 1985||Jul 21, 1987||Allied Corporation||Multi-layered flexible fiber-containing articles|
|US4879165 *||Jun 20, 1988||Nov 7, 1989||Smith W Novis||Lightweight armor|
|US4989266 *||Oct 13, 1989||Feb 5, 1991||Point Blank Body Armor, Inc.||Body armor insert|
|US5008959 *||Feb 28, 1990||Apr 23, 1991||Coppage Jr Edward A||Bulletproof dress shirt|
|US5112667 *||Jul 31, 1990||May 12, 1992||Allied-Signal Inc.||Impact resistant helmet|
|US5185195 *||Nov 19, 1990||Feb 9, 1993||Allied-Signal Inc.||Constructions having improved penetration resistance|
|US5327811 *||Apr 25, 1991||Jul 12, 1994||Guardian Technologies International||Lightweight ballistic protective device|
|US5395671 *||Jun 15, 1993||Mar 7, 1995||Coppage, Jr.; Edward A.||Protective fabric|
|GB2198628A *||Title not available|
|WO1987003674A1 *||Oct 28, 1986||Jun 18, 1987||Allied Corporation||Multi-layered, flexible, fiber-containing articles|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US5960470 *||Aug 2, 1996||Oct 5, 1999||Second Chance Body Armor, Inc.||Puncture resistant protective garment and method for making same|
|US5974585 *||Oct 22, 1996||Nov 2, 1999||Second Chance Body Armor, Inc.||Concealable protective garment for the groin and method of using the same|
|US6000055 *||Apr 29, 1997||Dec 14, 1999||F. Lli Citterio S.P.A.||Multiaxial, multilayer fabric suitable for being used for ballistic uses and process for producing said fabric|
|US6012162 *||Jun 24, 1998||Jan 11, 2000||The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Navy||High impact absorbing body armor with self actuating mode|
|US6026509 *||Sep 16, 1998||Feb 22, 2000||Second Chance Body Armor, Inc.||Ballistic resistant garment with multi-panel radial securement stitching|
|US6047399 *||Oct 24, 1997||Apr 11, 2000||Second Chance Body Armor, Inc.||Multi-component protective garment with composite strike face and woven base|
|US6048486 *||Jun 3, 1995||Apr 11, 2000||Triumph International Ag||Process for forming contours in aramide flat structures|
|US6103641 *||Apr 9, 1998||Aug 15, 2000||Gehring Textiles Inc||Blunt trauma reduction fabric for body armor|
|US6119575 *||Feb 17, 1998||Sep 19, 2000||American Body Armor||Body armor|
|US6131193 *||Feb 26, 1998||Oct 17, 2000||Second Chance Body Armor, Inc.||Combined puncture resistant and ballistic resistant protective garment|
|US6147018 *||Sep 29, 1998||Nov 14, 2000||E. I. Du Pont De Nemours And Company||Hybrid protective composite|
|US6151710 *||Oct 17, 1998||Nov 28, 2000||Second Chance Body Armor, Inc.||Multi-component lightweight ballistic resistant garment|
|US6154880 *||Sep 16, 1999||Dec 5, 2000||Second Chance Body Armor, Inc.||Puncture resistant protective garment and method for making the same|
|US6185738||Mar 16, 1999||Feb 13, 2001||Site Enterprises Of Colorado, Inc.||Tactical load-bearing protective vest|
|US6195798 *||Oct 16, 1998||Mar 6, 2001||Second Chance Body Armor, Inc.||Thin and lightweight ballistic resistant garment|
|US6219842||Oct 8, 1999||Apr 24, 2001||Second Chance Body Armor, Inc.||Combined puncture resistant and a ballistic resistant protective garment|
|US6240557 *||Aug 2, 1999||Jun 5, 2001||Second Chance Body Armor, Inc.||Thin and lightweight ballistic resistant garment|
|US6257011||Sep 16, 1999||Jul 10, 2001||U T Battelle Llc||Personal cooling apparatus and method|
|US6266819||Sep 22, 2000||Jul 31, 2001||Second Chance Body Armor, Inc.||Multi-component lightweight ballistic resistant garment|
|US6449769 *||Sep 28, 2000||Sep 17, 2002||Second Chance Body Armor, Inc.||Thin and lightweight ballistic resistant garment|
|US6526862||Mar 9, 2000||Mar 4, 2003||Simula, Inc.||Fabric armor|
|US6620484||Jun 6, 2000||Sep 16, 2003||The Boeing Company||Variable density stitched-composite structural elements for energy absorption|
|US6651543 *||Aug 28, 2001||Nov 25, 2003||Andrew D. Park||Lightweight soft body-armor product|
|US6684404||Aug 15, 2001||Feb 3, 2004||Second Chance Body Armor, Inc.||Multi-component stab and ballistic resistant garment and method|
|US6922847||Jul 26, 2002||Aug 2, 2005||Second Chance Body Armor, Inc.||Multipurpose thin and lightweight stab and ballistic resistant body armor and method|
|US7386894||Mar 17, 2005||Jun 17, 2008||Straiton John P||Tactical outer protective shorts|
|US7968475||Feb 11, 2009||Jun 28, 2011||E. I. Du Pont De Nemours And Company||Fabric assembly suitable for resisting ballistic objects and method of manufacture|
|US8236711||Aug 7, 2012||Milliken & Company||Flexible spike and knife resistant composite|
|US8291808||Oct 23, 2012||Warwick Mills, Inc.||Titanium mosaic body armor assembly|
|US8293353||Nov 25, 2008||Oct 23, 2012||Milliken & Company||Energy absorbing panel|
|US8336112 *||Jan 29, 2010||Dec 25, 2012||Safariland, Llc||Body armor with overlapping layers of ballistic material|
|US8534178||Oct 30, 2008||Sep 17, 2013||Warwick Mills, Inc.||Soft plate soft panel bonded multi layer armor materials|
|US8904915||Mar 19, 2010||Dec 9, 2014||Warwick Mills, Inc.||Thermally vented body armor|
|US9046323 *||Feb 23, 2009||Jun 2, 2015||Safariland, Llc||Ballistic package for soft body armor|
|US9170071||Oct 12, 2010||Oct 27, 2015||Warwick Mills Inc.||Mosaic extremity protection system with transportable solid elements|
|US9291433||Feb 22, 2012||Mar 22, 2016||Cryovac, Inc.||Ballistic-resistant composite assembly|
|US20040016036 *||Jul 26, 2002||Jan 29, 2004||Bachner Thomas E.||Multipurpose thin and lightweight stab and ballistic resistant body armor and method|
|US20060206986 *||Mar 17, 2005||Sep 21, 2006||Straiton John P||Tactical outer protective shorts|
|US20100203304 *||Aug 12, 2010||E.I. Du Pont De Nemours And Company||Fabric assembly suitable for resisting ballistic objects and method of manufacture|
|US20100229272 *||Mar 10, 2010||Sep 16, 2010||Lineweight Llc||Garment with Ballistic Protective Insert|
|US20110023697 *||Feb 3, 2011||Warwick Mills, Inc.||Mosaic extremity protection system with transportable solid elements|
|US20110061522 *||Mar 17, 2011||Mine Safety Appliances Company||Ballistic panel assemblies for use in body armor and method of forming ballistic panel assemblies|
|US20110174147 *||Oct 29, 2008||Jul 21, 2011||Reinard Jozef Maria Steeman||Material sheet and process for its preparation|
|US20110185463 *||Jan 29, 2010||Aug 4, 2011||Safariland, Llc||Soft Body Armor Including Reinforcing Strips|
|US20110185464 *||Aug 4, 2011||Safariland, Llc||Body Armor with Overlapping Layers of Ballistic Material|
|US20120118135 *||Jan 6, 2012||May 17, 2012||Armordynamics, Inc.||Apparatus for providing protection against ballistic threats and method for manufacturing same|
|US20120174275 *||Jul 12, 2012||Carlson Richard A||Female armor system|
|US20120174300 *||Feb 23, 2009||Jul 12, 2012||Robert Weber||Ballistic package for soft body armor|
|US20140366713 *||Aug 29, 2014||Dec 18, 2014||Warwick Mills Inc.||Mosaic extremity protection system with transportable solid elements|
|CN102308179B||Feb 9, 2010||Mar 12, 2014||纳幕尔杜邦公司||Fabric assembly suitable for resisting ballistic objects and method of manufacture|
|EP1110052A2 *||Mar 9, 2000||Jun 27, 2001||Simula, Inc.||Improved fabric armor|
|EP1137347A2 *||Oct 15, 1999||Oct 4, 2001||Second Chance Body Armor, Inc.||Multi-component lightweight ballistic resistant garment|
|EP1716770A2 *||Oct 15, 1999||Nov 2, 2006||Second Chance Armor, Inc.||Multi-component lightweight ballistic resistant garment|
|EP2312257A1 *||Sep 29, 2010||Apr 20, 2011||Compagnie Europeenne de Developpement Industriel (C.E.D.I.)||Bulletproof vest comprising reinforced panels|
|WO1998005917A1 *||Aug 4, 1997||Feb 12, 1998||Second Chance Body Armor, Inc.||Puncture resistant protective garment and method for making and testing the same|
|WO1998017136A1 *||Oct 21, 1997||Apr 30, 1998||Second Chance Body Armor, Inc.||Concealable protective garment for the groin and method of using the same|
|WO1998019131A1 *||Oct 22, 1997||May 7, 1998||E.I. Du Pont De Nemours And Company||Ballistic structure|
|WO1999021446A2 *||Oct 22, 1998||May 6, 1999||Second Chance Body Armor, Inc.||Multi-component protective garment with composite strike face and woven base|
|WO1999021446A3 *||Oct 22, 1998||Jul 1, 1999||Second Chance Body Armor Inc||Multi-component protective garment with composite strike face and woven base|
|WO2000025614A3 *||Oct 15, 1999||Sep 8, 2000||Second Chance Body Armor Inc||Multi-component lightweight ballistic resistant garment|
|WO2010093611A1 *||Feb 9, 2010||Aug 19, 2010||E. I. Du Pont De Nemours And Company||Fabric assembly suitable for resisting ballistic objects and method of manufacture|
|WO2010108130A1 *||Mar 19, 2010||Sep 23, 2010||Warwick Mills, Inc.||Thermally vented body armor assembly|
|Oct 21, 1997||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Oct 16, 2000||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Mar 19, 2004||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT, IL
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:SAFARI LAND LTD., INC.;REEL/FRAME:014446/0331
Effective date: 20030812
|Sep 23, 2004||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Jun 15, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SAFARI LAND LTD., INC., FLORIDA
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:BANK OF AMERICA, NA, AS ADMINSTRATIVE AGENT;REEL/FRAME:017783/0447
Effective date: 20060505
|Oct 13, 2008||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12
|Oct 2, 2009||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SAFARILAND, L.L.C ., FLORIDA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SAFARI LAND LTD., INC.;REEL/FRAME:023312/0723
Effective date: 20090924
Owner name: SAFARILAND, L.L.C .,FLORIDA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SAFARI LAND LTD., INC.;REEL/FRAME:023312/0723
Effective date: 20090924
|Feb 22, 2010||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SAFARILAND, LLC,FLORIDA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SAFARI LAND LTD.;REEL/FRAME:023971/0711
Effective date: 20090924
Owner name: SAFARILAND, LLC, FLORIDA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SAFARI LAND LTD.;REEL/FRAME:023971/0711
Effective date: 20090924
|Jul 27, 2012||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: WILMINGTON TRUST, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, MINNESOTA
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:SAFARILAND, LLC;REEL/FRAME:028652/0221
Effective date: 20120727
|Aug 1, 2012||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., AS AGENT, GEORGIA
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:SAFARILAND, LLC;REEL/FRAME:028698/0797
Effective date: 20120727